Implementing Signal Support Principles on the Battlefield of the Future
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The U.S. Army appears to be at a crossroads in the evolution of warfighting. This change has begun to manifest itself in the ever increasing digitization of the force. The success or failure of this new force lies in the ability of advanced digital equipment to pass information. Establishing communications networks to support information transfer throughout the force warrants a renewed analysis of the doctrinal foundations upon which signal support is based. This monograph examines the doctrinal foundations of signal support and examines the viability of implementation on future battlefields. The methodology of this monograph is twofold. First, the principles of signal support are examined to establish their validity. This is accomplished by presenting the doctrinal definition of the principles and investigating their foundations under the auspices of the evolution of communications. The second area of inquiry requires establishing reasonable parameters for the characteristics of the future battlefield. A review of the two foremost theories of future conflict is presented to cull common characteristics germane to the battlefield. With signal support principles validated, and a feasible projection of the characteristics of the future battlefields, an analysis is conducted. Analysis entails qualitatively assessing the implementation of the principles of signal support across five eras. Projecting the analysis into the future reveals principle adequacy or shortfalls on the future battlefield. A key finding of this monograph is the increasing vulnerability of communications sites. Technological advances appear to enhance implementation of three of the four principles of signal support i.e., continuity, versatility, and simplicity. However, technological advances are also improving emitter detection, targeting, and engagement. As forces digitize, communications assets to link them will proliferate.
- Command, Control and Communications Systems